The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has warned that any officer or personnel of the Army, Navy and Air Force caught divulging sensitive information on social media platforms would not only be demoted but would also be fired from the services of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
This was contained in a new guideline for military personnel and their family members on the use of social media to tackle cyber-security crimes.
The order contained in a new military policy prescribed by the DHQ, and signed into law on Monday by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, prescribed dismissal from service, reduction in rank, among other stiffer penalties for offenders.
Under the new arrangement, the Defence Space Administration has been mandated to monitor the calls and usage of the social media by military personnel.
With the new law, mobile telephones of military personnel and that of their family members will now be monitored by the authorities to know what they are posting on the social media platform.
It was gathered that the new law entitled ‘Policy on the Use of Social Media’ for the Armed Forces of Nigeria”, stipulates the immediate establishment of a Social Media Directorate in the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Navy and the Nigerian Air force to monitor the Social Media and tell the Armed Forces story in real time.
In one of the workshops held recently for army personnel in Lagos, the Chief of army staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, had frowned against the abuse of the use of social media by some personnel contrary to the rules of the service which he said necessitated the need for establishment of a directorate that would focus solely on the management of social media in the service.
Buratai said, ”The Nigerian Army has a policy on the use of social media. The use of social media to discuss or disclose service matter is absolutely wrong.
“It is very unprofessional for personnel to resort to social media to disclose classified information or express grievances when the Nigerian Army has well established channels for addressing complaints.
“It is equally saddening to find operational issues and utterances including some gory pictures involving our personnel and equipment being circulated on social media.”
“I want you to take particularly of the presentations as it will also highlight the inherent risk associated with the advent of social media and all the steps you must not take to compromise information as clerks.
“The army has initiated a process that would lead to the establishment of a directorate that would focus solely on the management of social media in the service.
“This is part of my action plan to curtail the risk associated with the use of social media by personnel.” The army chief noted.